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Thursday, September 19, 2002

When Whining Becomes Deafening
Normally, I try to resist the temptation to do this, but I just can't resist this time. The whine on the official boards and a few other places has reached a fevered pitch as of late. Why? All over an announcement on the official site and on Warcry about the Syndicate being promised 150 beta accounts.

I won't bother linking to the lengthy dissertations on the board about how Ubi is pulling a PR ploy. I won't bother linking to the lengthy dissertations that people have posted explaining how their guild deserves it more because they are active on the boards and have been waiting... months... What I'm going to do is point something out that many people don't realize... The people at Gencon etc, were not the first people to be promised beta accounts. You see, there was a time when there was word of Guild Beta and many guilds were tipped to the idea that they were on a list of guilds that would be participating... maybe... someday...SOON... Many of these guilds were also following Shadowbane from the days. But that was awhile ago.

So, let's take a trip in the wayback machine for a moment.

Exhibit number one from the World Map FAQ.
Is it just me, or do some of these guild names look familiar?
They should! While most of the guilds shown on the Region view were made up by individuals here in the Wolfpack office, some of them were filled out by pre-existing Guilds (from other games) that volunteered to be in our beta process. In the latter case, we had these Guilds provide us information on their name, crest, population and motto. We thought this would give the Map a more realistic look and feel, and better illustrate what we’re building.
Oh... really? Those guilds volunteered to take place in beta did they? Let's take a look at exhibit number two, the maps. Take a gander at the Interactive Demo Map from January of 2001. These guilds are as follows:

Region of the Empty Lands- The Regulators and The Begotten. The Begotten was Zelnik's former guild and the link goes to his website he was going to build before he was picked up by Ubi Soft.

The Region of Irydni- Drow and The Syndicate

The Region of Alvaetia- the now defunct Crimson Empire and the Undead Lords

The Region of Ethyria- The Lost Order of Akalabethia and Sinister

The Region of Rengerston- Circle Noir and Disciples of the Dark Hand

The Region of Vanderlund- KAAOS, Shadowclan, Covetous Crew and The Knights of Glory and Beer

The Region of the Burning Lands- Forever Xiled and The Brotherhood of Crimson Knights

The Region of Carloon- The Pluggers

The Region of Tariponto- League of Pirates and The Combine

Take note of the creation dates- November 2000. This announcement came out in January on the news sites and had been getting attention for awhile before that. The guilds listed above were also in talks about guild beta long before the announcements and the map went live on the site. I know this because I am formerly of the Undead Lords.

These guilds have been waiting a long time to get into beta. Take note also that one of the guilds listed is the Syndicate. Big surprise isn't it? I Interviewed Syndicate leader, Dragons, in December of 2001 about where they stood as we were getting "closer" to a possible beta. Faust also had written two part article for Aerynth Atheneaum awhile back as well. So, they aren't new to the community... they just aren't as loud as others. The same goes for many of the guilds on the list above.

While I'm sure that there are some representatives from the guilds above, that doesn't constitute a guild beta. People are placing "PR Blunder" tags on Ubi Soft when these guilds were known to Wolfpack before Ubi Soft came into the picture. Of course Ubi Soft knows who these guilds are now because they hired... (you guessed it) Zelnik and Vosx to take care of community issues.

I hate to blow away the cries of "conspiracy" or "unfair" here. If anything, the Syndicate should be saying "It's about time." The other guilds should now be saying "Where's ours? Screw the people that were promised betas at GenCon.. We were first!" Though many of them have also given up all hope that what was promised to them will never come to be and have been playing other games to pass the time.

At this point all I see is Ubi Soft and Wolfpack being damned if they do and damned if they don't. You can't make all of the people happy all of the time. It's just not going to happen.

Whine more here, there's plenty of cheese.
- posted by Sachant @ 8:00 AM PDT

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Vosx Speaks at the Syndicate World Conference
Vosx recently attended a gathering of members of the guild The Syndicate at their 2002 world conference. This shows a real investment in the fans and the community by Ubi Soft to say the least. Dragons, guild leader of The Syndicate, has posted up, on Shadowbane Warcry, a piece on just what happened at the conference. Take note of this especially-
Open Beta: Vosx mentioned they anticipate starting the open beta in late October. If not then, then definitely by early November. So for all you wanting to get into the beta, be watching closely about that time.
Be sure to head over and give it a read! Thanks go out to Dragons for sharing this information with us.
- posted by Sachant @ 11:01 AM PDT